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“Beauty is Pain” Is That Really True for IPL Hair Removal?

Like many beauty procedures, a sense of pain is viewed as a given. Now, is there a necessary exchange of pain in order to attain beauty? 

As IPL Laser Hair Removal is centered on the use of pulsing light to target hair roots, pain is often assumed to be a part of the process.

With the revolutionary technology of IPL, let’s find out whether pain is your payment for beauty.

What is IPL Hair Removal?

Before anything, every individual must know what the technology is and how it does what it does.

The acronym, IPL, stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is also known as photo-facial, which utilizes pulses of light on your hair roots. IPL Hair Removal is not limited to any part of your body, though, the common areas of treatment are legs, arms, face, underarms, and bikini area. Therefore, the technology replaces your need for waxing, epilators, shavers, and more.

Unlike the afore mentioned tools and methods, the Intense Pulsed Light technology evokes smoothness that lasts. Further, the over-time use leads to overall reduced hair growth on your chosen treatment area.

With such transcendent effects from a single piece of technology, you should understand how it achieves its premium effects.

How does IPL Hair Removal Work?

First off, know that the method is safe and non-invasive, and possesses permanent results.

From the IPL device, controlled light pulses are emitted and are then absorbed by selective follicles under the surface of the skin. The absorption is selective, however, the heat on the hair from the absorbed light leads to it entering a resting phase. This phase injures the hair follicles’ re-growth potential and results to the hair falling off.

As the stigma of pain from laser and controlled light predominantly exists, the method of Intense Pulsed Light should not automatically be conformed to this assumption.

Which Body Hair Types Work with IPL? 

It was previously mentioned that the technology serves as a substitute to your manual tools and methods, however, each body part grows a different type of hair.

The simple guide is, the IPL Hair Removal does work with body, underarm, face, and bikini hair. Though, the ease of use depends on the attachments you use; there are different attachments for each of the four general areas included.

Additionally, prior to committing to Intense Pulsed Light, you must find out your device’s capability with certain hair colors and skin tones to optimize the purpose and effects of the treatment. The device comes in all shapes and sizes, and this is to ensure your safety, guarantee your time and effort, and eliminate the sensation of pain.

With optimizing the treatment, a right of passage is strictly following its directional use.

Benefits of IPL Treatment

The advantages of the technology are plain obvious, but let’s run it back.

Permanent: Among the list of permanent hair removal treatments, Intense Pulsed Light definitely places a position at the top. Like the others, it does involve repeated treatment yet the results are guaranteed and permanent over time. The number of treatments is dependent on the treatment area, hair color, natural skin tone, and hair structure. Though, the average is 6 to 8 sessions.

No Wait: With shaving and waxing, it requires actual hair to be present on the area. This means you have to wait for the hair to grow in order to conduct the method. For IPL Hair Removal, the only occasion you have to eliminate your hair, is immediately prior to the treatment for effective use.

Safe: Other laser treatments are typically avoided by some individuals, due to the danger and direct, prolonged exposure. The IPL technology is different. With the numerous devices found on any online marketplace platform, it is evident that the device is suitable for home-use. Place caution in purchasing devices online and only invest into well-known brands with existing reviews and step-by-step guides.

The question still lingers, is the issue of pain placed as a benefit or disadvantage?

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Your Device

As proved above, these devices do not come cheap. It is essential to consider these features to score the right one. 

Number of Flashes: After reaching the maximum number of flashes of your laser device, you will need to buy a replacement. Although, some devices offer an unlimited number of flashes.

Intensity Levels and Modes: The level determines the frequency of your device use. Additionally, the different settings of intensity can adapt to the more sensitive areas of treatment, such as the face and bikini area.

Speed: Varying per device and brand, the time between flashes determines the length of the process. Undoubtedly, the shorter duration between, results to a shorter process.

Skin Tone Sensor: A premium feature that only select devices carry. The device has the ability to detect your skin color to set the optimum mode and intensity for your safety and optimized results. 

How to Use Your IPL Device 

Let’s learn how to properly use your Intense Pulsed Light device. Take note!

  1. On your desired treatment area, shave off the hair on the surface. Keep the skin area clean and free of any remaining products.
  2. If your device is not wireless, plug in your device. Once plugged, press the power button for a few seconds to turn on.
  3. Once turned on, push the power button once to select your mode or intensity level. Push one at a time to reach your desired level. For your very first treatment, it is recommended to remain at the first or least intense setting.
  4. Place the device flat on your skin surface, and the number of flashes left should appear somewhere on the device.
  5. Click the flash button to commence the light emission.
  6. Per treatment, you should only target one specific body area. When completed, hold the power button to turn off and store the device in a safe place.

Keep in mind, not all IPL devices are the same! Carefully read the instructions of your purchased device before use.

Disadvantages of Laser Hair Removal 

With pure honesty, the cons of Intense Pulsed Light technology treatment, are slim to none. Let’s name some, for the sake of full disclosure.

Light Hair: As previously mentioned, the IPL device is selective towards hair color and skin tone. The technology depends on its ability to eliminate melanin to prevent further hair growth. Unfortunately, light hair has trace melanin amount; therefore, hindering the optimal effects of the technology.

Cost: In comparison to your existing hair removal method, such as waxing and shaving, IPL Laser Hair Removal definitely will cost you more. However, it is crucial to acknowledge its permanent effects in contrast to temporary, ceaseless repetition throughout your lifetime with the traditional methods. In the long run, you will save more money and eventually, the device is deemed as the cost-effective option.

So pain? A part of the list of advantages or disadvantages?

Is the Price of Beauty, Pain? 

When extensively pondered on, the idea that the price of attaining beauty is accepting pain, is quite sad and unfortunate. It makes you think that, it really should not be that way.

Good thing, the Intense Pulsed Light technology may cost you, but at least, it does not cost you pain.

Now, do not get it twisted. It is not a situation of zero pain, it is a situation of minimal pain.

Delving into the mechanics of the device and its use, the emitted light is converted into heat that is evenly distributed below the surface of the skin. It is crucial to understand that the factor of minimal pain only applies to IPL treatment, and not all laser hair removal treatments.

In regards to pain, many patients identify the difference between laser and IPL hair removal. Many describe it to be a burning feeling, as laser treatments do utilize a monochromatic source of high energy.

Take note! IPL Laser Hair Removal treatment does not damage nor harm surrounding tissue in the treatment area.

When treating non-flat areas, like areas near a bone, the device cannot be flattened. With this issue, the different head attachments creates a better situation. However, you may feel a static or a tingling sensation when treating around such areas.

This step is not a must, but it is a simple, beneficial step.

After completing the treatment with the IPL Hair Removal device, you may apply a gel or balm for soothing the treated area. On top of preventing skin irritation, this relieves the minimal tingling feeling that may be brought on by treating non-flat areas.

Read on to learn about the possible exceptions to sensing treatment pain, as well as essential tips to go IPL DIY.

What You Need to Know Before DIY 

Here are words of wisdom to guide your IPL Hair Removal journey!

Consistency is Key: To clarify, it is not a magical device that permanently eliminates your hair after a couple uses. Do not be discouraged when after a few uses, you do not see a significant amount of change. The permanent results kick in on Month 3 of consistent use, but this does not mean zero hair. Instead, you will see that some hair do not grow back anymore on the treated area.

Go with the Seasons: As melanin is a key component, it’s best to start treatment without a natural or fake tan. The recommendation is autumn or winter, the time wherein the contrast between your possibly light skin tone and darker hair color is optimized.

It’s Different for Everyone: Though it is not a concrete case, there have been multiple accounts of IPL treatment. Individuals with fair skin and light brown hair usually do not state any pain. On the other hand, individuals with thick, darker hair claim to feel a static sensation, but would not label it as pain. The common advice is to select a comfortable setting for the intensity and mode.

No Plucking ’n’ Waxing: Waxing and plucking the actual hair counters the desired effects and internal process of IPL Laser Hair Removal. With this, shaving is your new best friend after starting with this hair removal method.

Protection: After treatment, your skin may be a little more sensitive than usual. In addition to the recommended application of gel or balm, wear sunscreen protection when expecting sun exposure. Another life hack is to physically cover the treated areas, like a sweater or a pair of jeans.

Avoid: Adding onto the sensitivity of skin post-treatment, it is advised to avoid deodorants, perfume, and hot showers within 24 hours since treatment.

Reminder: It is definitely worth it!

Let’s Wrap it Up

In many cases, pain is a consequence of beauty — but, not always.

Intense Pulsed Light technology converts light into heat into internal hair follicles to allow permanent hair removal on the treatment area. Despite the advancement of the technology and its desirable effects, it requires consistency, care, and commitment to attain the permanent results.

The complexity of IPL emphasizes the need to take the right steps prior to using the device. Such steps include product research to find the right one for you in terms of skin tone and hair color, and the actual obedience towards the directional use of the device.

Refer above for the well-known brands of IPL Laser Hair Removal devices, and the main factors to consider when purchasing your own device.

Beauty is pain.

False, it is not. Overall, IPL does not entail a painful process. However, it is important to note the number of situations wherein a minimal static, tingling sensation may be experienced. If your IPL experience exceeds the category of mild discomfort, and gains the label of ‘painful,’ it is best to halt your device use and visit an expert regarding your experience.

Throughout the world, the number of happy, satisfied IPL users are infinite! It is a worthy investment.

Happy Zapping!